By Jan Aument, CTSM Bronze
Recess – it’s not just for kids
Remember when you were young and couldn’t wait for the bell to ring for recess? That feeling of fleeing the classroom, laughing with your friends and running around the playground was enough to make you twitch with anticipation and cause your attention span to mimic that of a fruit fly. Incidentally, the fruit fly is said to have the shortest attention span in the animal kingdom.
Well, I know some folks who seem to have the attention of a fruit fly during meetings due to a number of reasons we all know too well. So, many of us are adding some type of activity to our meetings. Here are a couple of ideas that you might try at your next event:
• Poker Walk – Give participants a map with stopping points along the way. Each stopping point could have a healthy snack or beverage and a card. They draw a card at each station and the winner with the best hand at the end wins a prize.
• Doing an event in an urban location? Partner with a local animal shelter asking them to bring dogs to a location for pet walks. Many find dogs energizing and calming at the same time
• At a recent event, we replaced some of the typical ballroom chairs with large exercise balls. We were surprised at how many people actually used them.
• Music – Play it during breaks, make sure it’s upbeat. Hire a local dancer or physical activity instructor to come in at regular intervals getting people up off their chair and dancing or doing simple in place exercises throughout your program
Organize groups of people based on their likes. A 20 minute mile club and a 10 minute mile club for walkers and runners. An early morning yoga class in an inspiring place or Power Yoga in the late afternoon helps alleviate the twitch.
Recently we brought in foosball, ping pong and pool tables as well as cornhole (yes, that’s what we call it in Minnesota – otherwise known as bean bag toss) for night time activities but why not try them during breaks too?
I’ll admit, I’m an amateur at all this, but it’s something I think about a lot and after writing this, will definitely push harder to incorporate more of these ideas into my next meeting or should I say Recess Break?
Jan has been a corporate event specialist for over 15 years and is CTSM (Certified Trade Show Marketer) Silver certified. She is a three time President's Award winner at BASF Corporation, won the 2013 EXHIBITOR Magazine's All-Star Award and is a Portfolio Advisor to CTSM students pursing certification.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathie Niesen, CMP
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